UNICEF and Municipality Gostivar to establish child friendly interview room in Gostivar police station
GOSTIVAR, 6 March 2014: Mr. Nevzat Bejta, Mayor of Gostivar and Dr. Bertrand Desmoulins, UNICEF representative today signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a child-friendly interview room in the police station of Gostivar.
Through the agreement, the Municipality and UNICEF will cover the cost to transform an old police building into a space to ensure children feel secure during interviews with professionals in the justice system.
“The first encounter a child has with the legal system can be a traumatic experience,” said Mr Nevzat Bejta, Mayor of Gostivar. “With this initiative we want to ensure interviews are held in an environment that makes children feel safe.”
“When children come in contact with the law, the best interest of the child must the primary consideration,” said Dr. Bertrand Desmoulins, UNICEF Representative. “Professional working with children must have the means to ensure this principle is respected, they also need interview skills to minimize trauma and risk of re-victimisation.”
The child friendly interview room is being established to support Government reform efforts to ensure the justice system is equipped to protect the rights of child victims, witnesses, and children in conflict with the law. Through this initiative, UNICEF is also supporting the Ministry of Interior in training newly hired police officers, focusing on developing their skills on child interview technics.
Within the municipality, a multi-agency team is also being established to strengthen coordination and collaboration between the different sectors involved in the protection of children in contact with the law, such as the social workers, judges and prosecutors.
Currently child-friendly interview facilities are available in the Centres for Social Work in Skopje and Kumanovo; and police stations in Kisela Voda, Veles, Strumica and Tetovo. With support from the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, UNICEF will also establish similar rooms in police stations in Kocani, Bitola, Gevgelija and the Centre for Social Work in Kavadarci.
For more information, please contact: Suzie Pappas Capovska, UNICEF Skopje (02) 3231-150 (ext: 127), 072 236 725 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Irina Ivanovska (02) 3231-150 (ext: 107), 072 236 722 or email@example.com